Climate forecasts and alerts on extreme weather

July 20, 2022 | 2:11pm
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Climate forecasts and alerts on extreme weather
July 20, 2022

Greece, scorched by a heatwave ravaging parts of Europe, deployed planes and helicopters early Wednesday to stop wildfires from spreading to mountainside suburbs north of Athens.

Nearly 500 firefighters, 120 vehicles, three planes and four helicopters swung into action from dawn to battle the flames from approaching areas such as Gerakas, which is home to some 29,000 people.

The heatwave — the second to engulf parts of Europe in recent weeks — has contributed to deadly wildfires in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, destroying vast tracts of land.

The wildfires on the foot of Mount Penteli north of Athens were fanned overnight by winds constantly changing direction, a spokesman for the firefighters said Wednesday.

"This makes our task of dousing the flames difficult," he said.

July 17, 2022

A summer heatwave that has triggered devastating forest fires across southwest Europe showed no signs of abating Sunday, as parts of the continent readied for new temperature records early next week.

Firefighters in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece are battling forest blazes that have ravaged thousands of hectares of land and killed several personnel since the start of the week.

It is the second heatwave engulfing parts of southwest Europe in weeks as scientists blame climate change and predict more frequent and intense episodes of extreme weather.

Firefighters in the coastal town of Arcachon in France's southwestern Gironde region were fighting to control two forest blazes that have devoured more than 10,000 hectares since Tuesday.

"It's a Herculean job," said Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Chavatte from the fire and rescue service, which has 1,200 firefighters and five planes in action.

Further evacuation orders were given on Saturday for a few hundred residents, firefighter spokesman Arnaud Mendousse told AFP. -- AFP

July 5, 2022

Rain-swollen rivers spilled mud-brown waters across swathes of Sydney on Tuesday, swamping homes and roads while forcing thousands to flee.

Emergency services have now instructed about 50,000 people to evacuate or to prepare to escape the rising waters in New South Wales, officials said.

Emergency workers carried out 22 flood rescues in Sydney overnight, they said, with the support of 100 army troops deployed to the state.

The floods, heavy rain and powerful winds led to power cuts for 19,000 homes, officials said.

Australia has been at the sharp end of climate change, with droughts, deadly bushfires, bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef and floods becoming more common and intense as global weather patterns change.

Higher temperatures mean the atmosphere holds more moisture, unleashing more rain.

"Sydney is not out of danger, this is not a time to be complacent," State Emergency Services commissioner Carlene York told a news conference.

"It's risky out there." -- AFP

July 4, 2022

Rapidly rising rivers swamped swathes of rain-lashed Sydney on Monday, forcing thousands to flee "dangerous" floods as the city's largest dam spilled torrents of water.

On the third day of torrential east coast rains, emergency workers said they had rescued more than 80 people since the previous evening.

Many people had been trapped in their cars trying to cross flood-swept roads or were unable to leave homes surrounded by rising waters.

Australia has been at the sharp end of climate change, with droughts, deadly bushfires, bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef and floods becoming more common and intense as global weather patterns change.

Higher temperatures mean the atmosphere holds more moisture, unleashing more rain.

About 32,000 people were ordered to evacuate or be ready to flee across New South Wales, the emergency services department said, with the army sending 100 troops to help operations in the storm-battered state.

"The ground is saturated, the rivers are fast flowing, the dams are overflowing," said State Emergency Services commissioner Carlene York. -- AFP

July 3, 2022

Thousands of Australians were ordered to evacuate their homes in Sydney on Sunday as torrential rain battered the country's largest city and floodwaters inundated its outskirts.

Roads across the city were cut off and authorities said at least 18 evacuation orders were in place in western Sydney, an area that was inundated with severe flooding in March.

"This is a life-threatening emergency situation," Stephanie Cooke, emergency services minister for the state of New South Wales, told reporters.

Australia has been at the sharp end of climate change, with droughts, deadly bushfires, bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef and floods becoming more common and intense as global weather patterns change. -- AFP

June 23, 2022

Record floods were expected in parts of southern China Thursday as heavy rains pushed water levels in the Pearl River delta to their highest in almost a century.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from the worst-hit parts of the region, which includes Guangdong province, a manufacturing and logistics hub that is home to China's tech capital Shenzhen.

China's ministry of water resources on Wednesday placed its highest flood alert on the Pearl River basin, saying water levels at one location "surpassed historical records" and that the provincial capital Guangzhou would be impacted.

Images from the city of Shaoguan, north of Guangzhou, showed residents on Wednesday making their way through flooded main roads, as water in some areas reached the tops of cars. -- AFP

May 31, 2022

Hurricane Agatha, the first of the season, lashed a string of beach resorts on Mexico's Pacific Coast as it barreled ashore Monday, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and flood warnings.

Agatha was the strongest storm to make landfall along Mexico's Pacific coast in May since record keeping began in 1949, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

It touched land near Puerto Angel in the southern state of Oaxaca as a Category 2 hurricane — the second lowest on a scale of five. — AFP

May 30, 2022

The first hurricane of the Pacific season, Agatha, was rapidly strengthening off the western coast of Mexico where it is likely to strike Monday as a Category Three storm, the country's weather service warned.

High sea temperatures and the hurricane's slow speed could give it plenty of time to strengthen before it roars ashore, Alejandra Mendez, general coordinator of Mexico's National Weather Service (SMN), said in a videoconference.

As of Sunday afternoon, Agatha had already climbed to a Category Two storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale as it churned some 295 kilometers (185 miles) west of Puerto Angel, Mexico. — AFP

May 2, 2022

The sea level is rising twice as fast as previously forecast around parts of New Zealand, according to research published Monday, putting the country's two largest cities at risk decades earlier than expected.

Government-backed data amassed from around the country's coastline found some areas are already sinking three to four millimetres per year, speeding up a long-expected threat.

The projections, labelled "a bit terrifying" by one expert, are the result of an extensive five-year, government-funded research programme ?— NZ SeaRise ?— that was the combined work of dozens of local and international scientists.

Their prognosis means authorities have much less time than expected to introduce climate adaptation plans, including relocating coastal communities.

NZ SeaRise co-leader Tim Naish, a professor at Wellington's Victoria University, said while the global sea level is expected to rise about half a metre by 2100, for substantial parts of New Zealand it could be closer to a metre because the land is sinking at the same time.

It is stark news for the capital city, Wellington, which could expect 30 centimeter sea level rise by 2040 ?— a level that had not been expected before 2060.

With that rate of rise, Wellington residents can expect once-a-century flood damage every year on average. ?— AFP

April 22, 2022

Europe endured record extreme weather in 2021, from the hottest day and the warmest summer to deadly wildfires and flooding, the European Union's climate monitoring service reported Friday.

While Earth's surface was nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels last year, Europe saw an average increase of more than two degrees, a threshold beyond which dangerous extreme weather events become more likely and intense, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

The warmest summer on record featured a heatwave along the Mediterranean rim lasting weeks and the hottest day ever registered in Europe, a blistering 48.8C (120 degrees Fahrenheit) in Italy's Sicily. — AFP

April 15, 2022

A springtime blizzard walloped Canada's western Prairies region and parts of Ontario province this week, closing roads, airports and schools, and leaving a dump of snow to shovel.

Whiteouts were also reported in the US states of North Dakota and Montana.

Natalie Hasell, a meteorologist at Environment Canada, told AFP it was "rare" to see a major weather event dropping 30 centimeters (12 inches) of snow in April, when most Canadians are gearing up for spring.

Only two winter storms of this intensity have ever been recorded around this time of year in the region since 1902. The last one of this magnitude, in 1997, pummeled Manitoba province for three days and went into history books as "the storm of the century." — AFP

April 3, 2022

Torrential downpours triggered flash floods and landslides across Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state, killing at least 14 people including eight children, and leaving five missing, authorities said Saturday.

Two days of heavy rain have battered a broad swathe of the southeastern state's Atlantic coast, the latest in a series of deadly storms in Brazil that experts say are being aggravated by climate change. 

More rain is forecast for the region in the coming days. — AFP

March 1, 2022

Deadly floods swept Australia's east coast Tuesday, stranding residents on bridges and rooftops and forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Flood warnings were in effect for dozens of areas across the states of Queensland and New South Wales, where a week-long "rain bomb" has dumped a meter (3.2 feet) of water on some areas in a week.

Several waterways have already burst their banks or broken through levees, inundating towns and forcing residents to flee or seek safety on higher ground.

Nine people have died and more than a thousand people have been rescued. Authorities have warned that more fatalities are likely.

The latest victim was a woman in her 80s, whose body was found by police inside a home in the country town of Lismore. 

"She is yet to be formally identified," said New South Wales Police.   AFP

December 21, 2021

The Malaysian military used boats Tuesday to distribute food to desperate people trapped in their homes after massive floods, as the death toll rose to 14 with over 70,000 displaced. 

Days of torrential rain triggered some of the worst flooding in years across the country at the weekend, swamping cities and villages and cutting off major roads.

Selangor -- the country's wealthiest and most densely populated state, encircling the capital Kuala Lumpur — is one of the worst-hit areas. 

In the city of Shah Alam, some areas were still under water Tuesday and military personnel in boats distributed food to people stuck in their homes and government shelters.

Kartik Subramany fled his house as floodwaters rose, and took refuge in a school for 48 hours before being evacuated with his family to a shelter. 

"My house is totally damaged, my two cars are wrecked," the 29-year-old told AFP. 

"These are the worst floods of my entire life. The federal government has failed the people miserably -- it has failed in its primary function to protect and safeguard lives." — AFP

September 14, 2021

Tropical Storm Nicholas strengthened to hurricane status just as it is about to slam the US Gulf coast, with Houston in its path, the National Hurricane Center said late Monday.

Nicholas is packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hours, with higher gusts. The storm is expected to dump up to 18 inches of rain in the Houston area, weather officials said.

Nicholas "is bringing heavy rains, strong winds and storm surges to portions of the central and upper Texas coasts," the NHC said in its 0300 GMT Tuesday bulletin. — AFP

August 10, 2021

Dozens of small island states most vulnerable to the effects of climate change have called on the world to save "our very future" after a landmark UN report said accelerating global warming and rising sea levels threaten their existence.

The call to action comes after the climate report warned that catastrophic global warming is occurring far more quickly than previously forecast, an assessment met with horror and hopefulness by world leaders and green groups.

"We have to turn this around," Diann Black-Layne, lead climate negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, said in a statement late Monday.

"The stark fact is that if we keep warming to 1.5C we are still facing half a metre of sea level rise. But if we stop warming from reaching 2°C, we can avoid a long term three metres of sea level rise. That is our very future, right there."

The group comprises 39 states including Cuba, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives, the world's lowest-lying country.  — AFP

June 14, 2021

Lakes at historically low levels, unusually early forest fires, restrictions on water use and now a potentially record heat wave: even before summer's start the US West is suffering the effects of chronic drought made worse by climate change.

Eighty-eight percent of the West was in a state of drought this week, including the entire states of California, Oregon, Utah and Nevada, according to official data.

In a particularly stark symptom of this trend, which is affecting more than 143 million Americans, Lake Mead — the country's largest reservoir, lying at the border of Nevada and Arizona — now stands at its lowest level since its creation in the 1930s.

The lake, formed when the massive Hoover Dam was built across the Colorado River not far from Las Vegas, stands at just 36 percent of capacity, below even a record set in 2016. 

Authorities expected something like this — but not until August. — AFP

February 3, 2020

Filipinos, especially those residing in northern Luzon, will continue to experience chilly mornings until at least the third week of this month, PAGASA says.

The temperature in Baguio City dipped to 10.2 degrees Celsius on February 1. It is the lowest recorded so far in the city since the northeast monsoon season started in October.

Metro Manila similarly experienced its coldest day so far on February 1 with the temperature dropping to 18.5 degrees Celsius.

— with The STAR/Helen Flores

December 20, 2019

PAGASA is monitoring two LPAs — one inside the Philippine area of responsibility and bringing rains over eastern Mindanao and parts of Visayas, the other still outside and has the potential to be a tropical cyclone.

The LPA inside PAR was last spotted 795 km east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. The LPA outside PAR is seen to enter the country's jurisdiction by Monday next week.

December 18, 2019

Australia this week experienced its hottest day on record and the heatwave is expected to worsen, exacerbating an already unprecedented bushfire season, authorities said Wednesday.

The average nationwide temperatures of 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday beat the previous record of 40.3 degrees Celsius in January 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

"This heat will only intensify further today," meteorologist Diana Eadie Said.

The heatwave is another alarm bell about global warming in Australia, where this year’s early and intense start to regular summer bushfires has heaped pressure on the Australian government to do more to tackle climate change. — Agence France-Presse

December 18, 2019

Filipinos can expect warmer weather this week as the cool winds brought by amihan completely weakens while the warm easterlies wind blow from the Pacific Ocean.

PAGASA says Wednesday the easterlies or warm wind blowing from the Pacific Ocean continues to affect the whole country and fair weather is expected. In a weather report Tuesday afternoon, the state weather bureau announced that the northeast monsoon or amihan had completely weakened.

"Yung northeast monsoon ay tuluyan pong humina at hindi na po ito makakaapekto sa bansa. Easterlies po ito yung mainit na hangin galing sa Pacific Ocean kung saan naapektuhan ang buong bansa," PAGASA weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio said Tuesday.

"Kaya asahan po natin ang unti-unting pag-init ng panahon di lamang dito sa Metro Manila kung hindi sa iba't-ibang bahagi ng bansa."

November 28, 2019

PAGASA says Severe Tropical Storm Kammuri is seen to enter the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday, adding that it is expected to affect the southern Luzon landmass.

Its center was located 1510 km east of Visayas, the state weather bureau says in an update at 4 a.m. It packs maximum sustained winds of 110 kph and gusts of 110 kph near the center.

November 5, 2019

An LPA located west of southern Luzon intensifies into a tropical depression and is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility within 24 hours. Once it does, it will be assigned the name "Quiel."


November 4, 2019

PAGASA says it is monitoring three weather systems inside the Philippine area of responsibility: the trough of an LPA, the northeast monsoon or amihan and the ITCZ.

Although located west of southern Luzon outside PAR, PAGASA says the tail end of the LPA can still possibly bring rains over Luzon.

The ITCZ, meanwhile, is expected to bring rains over Caraga and Davao Region today.

A severe tropical storm with the international name "Halong" is also monitored outside PAR. It is not likely to affect the country or enter PAR.

"Halong" is located 3,140 km east of Virac, Catanduanes.

November 1, 2019

PAGASA says the LPA inside the Philippine area of responsibility is expected to bring rains over parts of Visayas and Mindanao today.

The LPA is located 245 km east-northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or amihan is seen to bring light rains over northern Luzon. 

Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon will cloudy skies and scattered rainshowers due to the easterlies, PAGASA says.

October 25, 2019

Ready your sweaters. PAGASA officially declares the onset of the northeast monsoon or amihan season which is associated with cooler temperatures.

October 21, 2019

PAGASA is monitoring a new typhoon outside the Philippine area of responsibility which it says is unlikely to enter the country's jurisdiction.

Typhoon Bualoi is located 2,670 km east of southern Luzon. It packs maximum sustained winds of 130 kph and gusts of 160 kph.

October 16, 2019

The LPA PAGASA is monitoring east of the Philippines may intensify into a tropical cyclone within 24 to 48 hours.

But PAGASA says it is expected to weaken again by the time it nears extreme northern Luzon due to the northeasterly surface wind flow.

It is located at 1,090 km northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, the state weather bureau says in its 5 a.m. weather update.

October 9, 2019

PAGASA says there is now a low chance that Typhoon Hagibis will enter the Philippine area of responsibility.

"Hagibis" is located 2,020 km east of northern Luzon, the state weather bureau says in its 4 a.m. weather update.

It packs maximum sustained winds of 200 kph near the center and gusts of 245 kph.

October 8, 2019

Weather watchers are closely observing Typhoon Hagibis, which may enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday, noting the rapid intensification in strength of the powerful cyclone.

The Washington Post noted that it gathered strength "at one of the fastest rates ever observed on Earth."

In its 5 a.m. weather update, PAGASA said "Hagibis" is packing 200 kph near the center and gusts of 245 kph. In an update at the same time yesterday, the typhoon was recorded with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gusts of 150 kph.

It is located 2,420 east of central Luzon.

October 7, 2019

A typhoon PAGASA is monitoring is forecast to enter the Philippine area of responsibility by Wednesday or Thursday. But it is unlikely to make landfall.

Internationally named "Hagibis," the typhoon packs maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gusts of 150 kph.



October 1, 2019

PAGASA is monitoring a new LPA inside the Philippine area of responsibility located at 1,025 km east of Legazpi City at 3 p.m. today.

The state weather bureau, however, says it won't affect the country.

August 25, 2019

PAGASA is monitoring a low pressure area outside the Philippine area of responsibility which can possibly develop into a tropical cyclone.

Photo: In this Aug. 9, 2019 photo, students of Araullo High School in Manila battle strong winds while heading home following the cancellation of classes due to inclement weather caused by monsoon rains as Typhoon Hanna exits the Philippine area of responsibility. The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

August 5, 2019

Aside from Tropical Storm Hanna, PAGASA is also monitoring three more weather systems — Typhoon Francis northeast of the country, a shallow low pressure area west of northern Luzon and a low pressure area still outside the Philippine area of responsibility.

The shallow LPA is not expected to intensify while the typhoon and LPA are not seen to enter PAR.

July 28, 2019

PAGASA says it is monitoring two shallow low pressure areas, one inside the Philippine area of responsibility and the other one still outside.

"... ibig sabihin po niyan mas mababa pa po ito sa low pressure area, di pa ganoon ka-established yung mga sentro nitong nasabing weather system," PAGASA weather specialist Gener Quitlong explains in an update early Sunday.

The one inside PAR was spotted at 210 km east-southeast of Casiguran, Aurora and is not expected to intensify into an LPA or tropical cyclone.

The other one outside PAR located at 1,125 east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar at 3 a.m. is seen to enter PAR today. It has the potential to develop into an LPA but is not seen to further intensify into a tropical cyclone.

July 14, 2019

The LPA PAGASA is monitoring is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility tonight or early Monday. 

The state weather bureau says the LPA can possibly develop into a tropical cyclone by Tuesday but it is not seen to make landfall.

It is located at 1,345 km east of Visayas as of 3 a.m. today.

July 1, 2019

PAGASA says it expects two to three tropical cyclones to enter the Philippine area of responsibility in July.

The state weather bureau says there are four usual tracks of tropical cyclones in this month. First, it makes landfall and passes through southern Luzon. Second, it makes landfall and passes through northern Luzon. Third, it passes through extreme northern Luzon. And fourth, it won't make landfall and will "recurve" until it exits PAR.

PHOTO: A group of friends wades through a flooded portion of Araneta Avenue following heavy rain dawn of June 25, 2019. The STAR/Michael Varcas

June 28, 2019

There is a possibility that the LPA east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar PAGASA is monitoring will intensify into a tropical cyclone in the next few days.

The LPA entered the Philippine area of responsibility at around 9 p.m. on Thursday.

It was last located at 960 km east of Guiuan as of 3 a.m.

June 27, 2019

PAGASA is monitoring a new LPA  that is still outside the Philippine area of responsibility east of Mindanao as Tropical Depression Dodong exited the country's jurisdiction and is headed toward Japan.

The LPA was last located at 1,295 km east of Mindanao at 3 a.m. today.

Since the LPA is still hovering over the sea there is a possibility that it may develop into a tropical cyclone but PAGASA says their data shows otherwise. The LPA is forecast to enter PAR on Friday or Saturday.

June 25, 2019

The LPA PAGASA is monitoring is still seen to develop into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.

It is not expected to make landfall.

It was last spotted at 580 km east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan at 3 a.m. today. 

June 24, 2019

PAGASA says the LPA located at 760 km east of Casiguran, Aurora at 10 a.m. today may develop into a tropical depression within 48 hours.

In case the LPA develops into a tropical depression while inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility, it will be named "Dodong."

June 24, 2019

PAGASA says the LPA inside the Philippine area of responsibility it is monitoring is not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours. 

The LPA is affecting a large portion of Luzon as well as parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

It was last spotted at 595 km north-east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar at 3 a.m. on Monday, June 24.

June 21, 2019

A low pressure area outside the Philippine area of responsibility may possibly develop into a tropical cyclone but is not expected to make landfall, PAGASA says.

The weather disturbance is seen to bring rains in Bicol by Sunday and Monday.

It was last spotted at 1,300 km east of Mindanao as of 3 a.m. Friday.

June 14, 2019

PAGASA says in an alert issued at 6:11 a.m. that heavy rain showers with lightning and strong winds are expected over Metro Manila, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan within the next one to two hours. 



June 3, 2019

Even as the capital sweats under temperatures as high as 36°C, a resident of Quezon City recorded hail falling in Tandang Sora, a barangay in the city's 6th legislative district.

Facebook user Rafael Antonio Dulce said the the hail was the size of marbles.

Pagasa says on its website that hail is ice from a severe thunderstorm. It forms when it is hot and water evaporates. That vapor can freeze and eventually fall to the ground.

Hail can fall at speeds of more than 100 kph, Pagasa also says.

After a similar hailstorm in Atok, Benguet in the middle of the dry season in 2018, weather observer Winston Lucando said the phenomenon is rare but high temperatures make it more likely.

"Gawa nung itong mainit, summer na tayo. Ngayon ang evaporation sa may Atok, may namuong cumulonimbus sa atmosphere dahil sa intense ng lamig na-freeze yung cumulonimbus, (It's because of the hot temperature. Now due to evaporation, a cumulonimbus cloud was formed in the atmosphere in Atok. Then, because of the intense cold in that area, the cumulonimbus froze producing hail)," Lucano told Philstar.com in a phone interview last year.

May 9, 2019

PAGASA says the downpour that affected Metro Manila yesterday is a "premonition" that the rainy season is looming. 

"Ito ay isang kung baga sa ano ay premonition of a parang palatandaan na papalapit na iyong tag-ulan. Expected na halos araw-araw may mga ulan na sa hapon at gabi," PAGASA weather forecaster Robert Sawi says in an interview over DZMM.

The state weather bureau explains that the heavy rains yesterday were due to a frontal system enhanced by the two low pressure areas near Luzon. A frontal system is where warm and cold air masses interact.

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